Junk Food, Wine and “Shooting Down Cancer”

Junk Food, Wine and “Shooting Down Cancer”

If you’ve been to one of the monthly Match-dot-Somm events at the downtown burger joint , you’ve witnessed the ingenious pairing of lowbrow foods with highbrow wines. The series started back in February as a way to bring the young professional crowd to the Food Fight restaurant off the Square. It’s since taken off, sometimes selling out weeks in advance.

“What makes this so successful is that when you do to these fancy wine dinners … you can get intimidated by the wine and the food, and with Match-dot-Somm, the food is so familiar,” says Caitlin Suemnicht, a sommelier and a partner at DLUX. She runs the Match-dot-Somm events, basing pairings on both suggestions from regular attendees and off of the long list of junk foods she keeps handy.

So when it came time to plan a Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser this year, American Cancer Society planners thought they should bring the Cheetos-meet-Cabernet concept to the Kohl Center, also to lure the young professional crowd. 

This Thursday, October 17, a Match-dot-Somm event (with stadium fare no less) will take place at the Kohl Center overlooking “Shooting Down Cancer.” The Match-dot-Somm portion of the partnership is ticketed and costs $50. It will take place in the Kohl Center Suites above the action on the court. Shooting Down Cancer itself is free to students and raises money for Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin and the American Cancer Society. For every UW student that walks into the Kohl Center, UW–Madison basketball coach Bo Ryan will make a $1 donation, plus $10 for every free throw made and a whopping $1,000 for a successful half-court shot. 

So far this year, the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin program has raised over $700,000. Basketball coaches from UW–Milwaukee, UW–Parkside, UW–Platteville and Edgewood College all joined Ryan in the effort. 

“The reason we’ve brought those coaches together is that they all believe that together we will finish the fight against cancer,” says Anne Nardi with the American Cancer Society. “They’ve been fantastic enough to get the word out and raise funds for cancer research.”

Raise money for a good cause and enjoy junk food and wine pairings? Sold.

The Match-dot-Somm and Coaches vs. Cancer event takes place Thursday, October 17, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Kohl Center Suites. The Kohl Center is located at 601 W. Dayton St. Visit coachesvscancerwisconsin.org for more information.